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Old and New
v 8 192^
Kecoughtan Old and New
J^m' Hundred Years
Elizabeth City Parish
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£y JACOB HEFFELFINGER
^e # *
An address, delivered July 19th, 1910, in St. John's Church, Hampton, Virginia, on
the occasion of the 300th Anniversary of the occupation of the
Parish by the English.
Acknowledgements are due, for
courtesies extended, to Mr. William
G. Stanard, Maj. W. W. Old, Rev.
C, Braxton Bryan, D. D., Col. W.
Gordon McCabe and Lyon G
HOUSTON PRINTING & PUBLISHING HOUSE
ST. JOHN'S CHURCH, 1910
Kecoughtan Old and New
Three Hundred Years
Elizabeth City Parish
Elizabeth City Parish may well be called a place of be-
It was a small company, in a small boat, that approached
the beach of Point Comfort Island on that thirtieth day of
April, 1607, but they made a deep mark in the history of civ-
On the sandbanks of the Point we have the first welcome
to the Englishman, extended by the five bronze-colored videttes,
who there watched the coming of the unknown strangers. No
unshotted guns, or swords pointed to earth ever extended a
more gracious and courteous military salute, than that offered
by these wild warriors of the forest, casting their bows and
arrows to the ground in answer to the white man's sign of
Mighty ships of steel have since plowed these same waters,
escorting hither the fleets of friendly nations, but no naval
escort has ever rivaled that which led Newport's shallop to the
home of the red man at Kecoughtan. See those lithe forms,
with arms carried in their teeth, swimming at the bow of the
strangers' boat in an abandon of chivalrous welcome!
For three hundred years Virginia hospitality has been
greatly noted, but has never exceeded in true spirit, that of the
red man at that first dinner to the white man at Kecoughtan —
offering to him ' ' such dainties as they had, ' ' not forgetting the
after-dinner smoke ; this at a time of the year when the Indians
lived poorly. As the strangers climbed the low bluff banks at
Kecoughtan an inviting prospect met their gaze. At their feet
the strawberries, just coming into fruit, grew in such profusion
that they at once named the shore ''Strawberry Banks," and
to this day it bears that name. These berries were larger and
better than those they had known in England.
Extending back from the water were the Indians' corn-
fields, newly planted, two to three thousand arcres in extent,
cut into convenient peninsulas by the many bays and creeks
that made into the mainland, a pleasant plain, with wholesome
air, having plenty of springs of sweet water, with pasture and
marsh, and apt places for vines, corn and gardens.
The town contained eighteen houses clustered on a little plat
of about three acres, the present ground of the Soldiers' Home,
where lived not over twenty fighting men, besides their women
Pour months afterwards, Captain Smith looking for food
for the settlers at Jamestown, visited Kecoughtan and after
some diceri.ing and frightening the Indians with discharges
from his guns, obtained sixteen bushels of corn.
In July, 1608, on his second voyage of discovery, Smith
staid some two or three days at Kecoughtan, because of con-
trary winds: again the party was kindly received and feasted
with much mirth. In December and January, 1608-9, Smith, on
his way to Pamunkey, was again halted by extreme weather.
The chronicler of the time says: "The next night (December
30th, 1608), being lodged at Kecoughtan six or seven daies,
the extreme wind, rain, frost and snow caused us to keep
Christmas among the savages : where we were never more mer-
rie, nor fedde in such plenty of good oysters, fish, flesh, wild
fowl, and good bread nor never had better fires in England than
in the drie, warm, smokie houses at Kecoughtan."
What a feast was that after the fasting and hardships at
Jamestown. The aroma of roasted oysters, cured sturgeon
steaks, spots and hog-fish, broiled venison with wild duck,
sweet corn bread and the dainty cakes made of chinquepin
meal comes down to us over the centuries to make our mouths
water ! Is there not a touch of home-sickness in the comparing
of it all with Old England?
In the spring of 1610 the Indians planted their last crop of
corn in their fields at Kecoughtan, a crop that they were never
to gather. Early in the morning of July 19, 1610, the inhabi-
tants were startled by a sharp attack by the Englishmen, made
in such force and with such rush, that the Indians were quickly
overwhelmed, and with their women fled for their lives, leaving
twelve or fourteen dead on the field. All this without hurt or
loss to any of the attacking party. The town and all that it
contained fell as spoil to the English soldiers.
William Strachey, who was present and wrote home quite
a full account of the affair*, complains that the baggage left
by the Governor was poor, and that they found only a few
baskets of old wheat (maize) and some others of peas and
beans, and some little tobacco. He felicitates himself that some
fine womens' girdles of grass silk not without art, and much
neatness, finely wrought, fell to him as his share of the spoil,
divers of which he sent to England. The growing crop of corn
which was in "good-forwardness" of course, fell to the cap-
Why this sudden change from peace to war with a tribe
of agricultural husbandmen against whom there is no record of
infidelity to their Xmas guests of two short years before ?
Strachey says, that three days before, one of the Lieuten-
ant General Gates' men named Humphrey Blunt, was killed
under the eyes of the General as he was trying to save a long
boat belonging to Algernon Fort that had been blown ashore
on the Nansemond side, just below the mouth of Pagan Creek,
and that he, "in some measures purposed revenge" and there-
fore followed the capture and sacking of Kecoughtan.
* See Appendix A.
But the Indians who lived at Kecoughtan had no hand in
the death of Blunt, a wide expanse of some twenty miles of
water separating them from the Nansemond Indians, who, no
doubt, were the perpetrators of the murder. Why should the
blow fall upon the friendly, peaceful farmers at Kecoughtan,
rather than the guilty ones, the war-like Nansemonders ?
Lord De-la- Ware, in his report dated two days before the
capture, says, "Our own eyes witness — that no countrie yield-
eth goodlier corne or more manifold increase, large fields we
have as prospects hourly before us of the same, and those not
many miles from our quarters, some whereof — our purpose is
to be masters of ere long, and to thresh it out on the floors of
our barns when the time shall serve. ' '
Then again the Nansemonds had two hundred and fifty
fighting men, the Kecoughtans not over twenty. The big corn
fields and few fighting men of the Kecoughtans fixed their fate ;
the murder of Blunt by the Nansemonds, furnishing the excuse
for their undoing. In "A Breife Declaration of the Ancient
Planters" they say: "We founde divers other Indian houses
built by the natives which by reason we could make no other
use of we burnt killing to the number of twelve or fourteen In-
dians, and possessing such corne as we founde growing of their
planting. ' '
Oh, the pity of it! Killing twelve or fourteen Indians!
Were any of them among those who, during the three short
years preceeding, had repeatedly entertained their slayers very
kindly, feasting them with great mirth, sheltering them in their
warm smoky houses, for as long as six or seven days, from the
extreme wind, rain, frost and snows at that happy Xmas time
of 1608-9 ? Were there among the slayers any that had receiv-
ed this gracious bounty? Some of the ancient planters who,
"by use were grown practique" in a hard way of living, were
there to aid Gates' men, who had been in the country scarce
two months, but 'tis hard to think of them as joining in the
assault on their friends.
Thus ended the tenure of the red man, and thus began the
possession by the white man of that "ample and fair country"
at Kecoughtan. ''An admirable portion of land, high, whole-
some and fruitful. ' '
The record is wholly made up by the white man, the red
man's mouth is forever sealed — and the record is against the
Raise high your monuments to the doughty Captain John
Smith — he deserves them — I believe in Smith, but where is the
artist who will fittingly mould in enduring bronze a memorial
to the five Indian videttes who first welcomed the Englishmen
to their shores; and in memory of their tribe who lived at
Kecoughtan, and who seem never to have broken faith with
Safely in possession, Gates immediately set about fortify-
ing the place against a return of the Indians. With the help
of some of the ancient planters, who were acclimated, two small
forts were erected. These forts were stockades made of small
young trees. To shelter the garrison in one, two houses built
by the Indians and covered with bark were used; in the other
a tent with a few thatched cabins built by the English. These
forts were a musket shot apart, located on the ground now
occupied by the Soldiers' Home, and gave to the place the name
of Fort Field, a name retained in the records to this day.
The forts were named Fort Henry and Fort Charles, in
honor of Henry, Prince of Wales, and his brother, Prince
Charles, afterwards King Charles I., and were commanded by
Captain Thomas Holecroft, and Captain George Yeardley.
Yeardley was commander of Sir Thomas Gates' company and
was afterfards acting governor, 1616-1617 — Governor 1619-21
and Governor again 1626-1627. Captain Holecroft died at Ke-
coughtan. Here they remained until harvest time, when they
gathered about one hundred and fifty bushels of corn, besides
what was used for their own sustenance, which by order of
Lord De-la-Ware was transported to Jamestown.
At the end of October, under orders from De-la-Ware,
Captains Yeardley and Holecroft abandoned the forts, after an
occupancy of a little over three months, and with their people
proceeded to Jamestown, to join in the march to the mountains
in search of gold or silver.
The fort at Point Comfort, erected by Percy in 1609, a
small one, fenced with pallisades, was still held, and when
De-la- Ware sailed away for home, in the spring of 1611, con-
tained one slight house, a store, and some few thatched cabins,
which shortly afterwards were destroyed by fire. The forts
at Kecoughtan remained vacant until the coming of Sir Thom-
as Dale, who landed at Point Comfort on the twelfth day of
May, 1611, ten days after De-la- Ware's departure for home.
At Point Comfort, Dale found two companies, one being a
part of Gates' company, not being in sufficient numbers to
occupy the forts at Kecoughtan. Dale at once with energy set
about the task of bettering the discouraging conditions in the
colony, his first move being to repossess the forts at Kecough-
tan. After viewing the forts and cornfields on the second day
after his arrival, although somewhat late in the season for
planting, he landed all his own men, and taking a part of the
companies from Algernon Fort, all hands fell to digging and
cleaning the ground under the supervision of Dale himself, and
in four or five days had planted more about Fort Henry than
Gates had found planted by the Indians when he sacked the
town in the previous summer. Dale then left for Jamestown,
leaving Captain James Davys in command as task-master for
the garrisons of all three forts, Algernon, Henry and Charles,
with instructions to plant about Charles Fort: the officers of
each garrison to report to Captain Davys, and he in turn to
Thus began the permanent occupancy of Kecoughtan by
the English, never again to be abandoned. Dale was so pleased
with the place that in August he declared it " a fit place to fash-
ion and lay out a spatious and commodious towne for a chief
commander." Two years later Molina, the Spanish spy who
had been held a prisoner at Point Comfort since the summer of
1611, reported twenty-five men and four iron guns at Algernon
Fort, and fifteen men at each of the forts at Kecoughtan — and
in October, 1613, Gondomar, the Spanish Ambassador at Lon-
don, reports to his king, that the forts are surrounded by earth-
works — that the majority of the men were sick and badly
treated, being fed on cornbread and fish, with nothing to drink
but water, "which" he says, "is contrary to the nature of the
English. ' '
Dale, after ruling the colony for five years with an iron
hand, sailed for England on the 31st day of May, 1616, taking
with him among others, the Indian Princess, Pocahontas, Rolfe,
her husband, and the Spanish spy, Molina. He left at Kecough-
tan, Captain George Webb in command, and Mr. William
Mease as minister, with twenty men and boys, eleven of whom
were farmers, besides the women and children. For the plan-
tation, as well as for the colony, there was peace and pros-
perity. How long the Rev. William Mease served as minister
at Kecoughtan, or whether he had a Church to preach in is not
known, but he was back in England in 1623. If he did not
have good congregations it was not Governor Dale's fault, for
his code made it very unhealthy for absentees from divine
worship ; he not only contended that he that works not should
not eat, but added the same punishment for him who prayed
In this first House of Burgesses, the first legislative assem-
bly to meet in America, in July and August, 1619, the planta-
tion was represented by Captain William Tucker and William
Capp. In the sixth petition of this assembly to the treasurer,
council and company, they were asked to change the name of
Kecoughtan and to give that incorporation a new name. In
May, 1620, this request was granted and the name was changed
to Elizabeth City, in honor of the daughter of King James I.
English names for English settlements was the fashion and by
this change Kecoughtan came into line with the other ten incor-
porations and plantations which all had English names. The
name Kecoughtan clung to the locality for many years after,
and as late as the year 1700, Governor Nicholson, in his official
papers, still uses the old Indian name.
About this time (1619) came over the three old pieces of
communion plate now in use in St. John's Church. All three
pieces bear the "hallmark" of 1618. Two of the pieces, the
cup and paten, have been in possession of the Parish for many-
years. The cup bears the inscription, "The Communion Cupp
for Snt Mary's Church in Smith's Hundred in Virginia." The
paten is inscribed : "If any man eate of this Bread he shall live
forever, (Jo. VI.)" The third piece was found among the ef-
fects of the late Rev. Mark L. Cheevers after his death, and
donated to Saint John's Church by his daughter Miss Julia
Cheevers, in 1907.* This plate has been in use in America
longer than any English Church plate now known to be in exis-
In 1620 a guest house or hospital was erected by Lieuten-
ant Whittaker, and in a letter from the council in England to
Governor Yeardley, dated August 4th, 1621, he is directed to
thank and reward the lieutenant for this service, and the build-
ing of more of these houses is urged. These guest houses were
intended to accommodate fifty persons in each, were to be
erected in wholesome localities, each to be sixteen feet broad,
one hundred and eighty feet long within, with twenty-five beds,
five chimnej^s for fire, and sufficient windows for wholesome
air. Their main purpose was the shelter and recuperation of
newly arrived immigrants, after a weary and tiresome sea voy-
In this year 1621, arrived Rev. Francis Bolton, sent over
by the Council, for Elizabeth City, and directed to inhabit with
Captain Tho. Nuse, at Newport News. Mr. Bolton remained
in the parish for a short time only, for in December, 1623, he
was serving as minister on the Eastern Shore. Another impor-
tant arrival in 1621 was that of Master Daniel Gookins out of
Ireland, with fifty men of his own, exceedinkly well furnished
with all sorts of provisions and cattle. He settled in the parish
at Newport News. Gookins made a successful trial in growing
The cruel blow which fell on the colony in the fearful mas-
sacre of March, 1622, was felt but little in Elizabeth City,
mainly because of the remoteness of the corporation from the
* For a fuller account of this Church Silver, see Dr. C. Braxton
Bryan's monograph in "The Churchman," June 23, 1900.
Indians' stronghold. None of the inhabitants were numbered
among the 347 of the colony who perished. When the colonists
were ordered to abandon the outlying plantations and concen-
trate for mutual protection Master Gookins refused to obey,
thinking himself with his force of about thirty-five able to
repel any attack by the savages, while his neighbor, Captain
Thos. Nuse, instead of abandoning his corn fields as many were
doing, planted an extra supply. Captain Nuse also entrenched
his home, calling in his nearest neighbors and sharing with
them his provisions.
In September, after the massacre, the Indians grew bold
enough to make an attack, and although Nuse sallied forth to
resist, they killed four men and carried off some of Edward
Hill's cattle. Edward Hill died in May, 1624, Captain Nuse
died about April, 1623.
Not long after the massacre, Edward Waters and his wife,
Grace, being detained as prisoners by the Nansemond Indians,
managed to escape in a canoe, while their captors were rejoic-
ing and carousing over the finding of a boat that drifted to
their shore from Newport News, and made their way to Ke-
coughtan. The English were greatly rejoiced at the escape of
Waters and his wife as they had been reported among the
killed. Edward Waters settled permanently in Elizabeth City,
had two children — William and Margaret — Virginia born, was
a captain, a burgess and a justice of the corporation, and died
soon after March, 1629. He came over from England in 1608.
The expedition organized by Sir George Yeardley to punish
the Indians for the massacre of the English, after driving away
the Nansemonds, capturing their corn and burning their houses,
afterwards came to Kecoughtan, and while quartered here,
after the watch was set, Samuel Collier, in going the rounds,
was accidentally killed by a sentinel. Samuel Collier came
over as a boy with Newport and Captain John Smith in 1607,
was page to Captain Smith, left by him with the Indians at
Warrascyack to learn their language, and because of his inti-
mate knowledge of the Indians and their ways was of great
service to the settlers.
Probably the most interesting papers that have been pre-
served of the early colonial period are the " Lists* of the Liv-
inge and Dead in Virginia, February 16th, 1624, ' ' and the mus-
ters of the inhabitants in Virginia, 1625. The list of 1624 gives
a total of 349 names for Elizabeth City, a large increase from
the twenty men and boys, with a few women and children, re-
ported by Rolfe in 1616 ; an increase, no doubt, largely due to
the fleeing in of the inhabitants from the outlying plantations
after the massacre. Included in the list are fifty-nine females,
four Frenchmen, two Indians, and two Negroes. In the mus-
ters of 1625, we find a total of 360, including seventy-one fe-
males, and thirty children, born in Virginia, one baptized In-
dian, and four Negroes, one of them a child reported baptized.
It was a settlement of young people, only forty-six being over
thirty-five years of age.
To be able, after the lapse of nearly three hundred years,
to call the name of nearly every inhabitant of the parish, man,
woman and child, with the date of their arrival and the name
of the ship in which they came, inspires one with a sense of in-
timate nearness, as we walk over the ground on which they ac-
tually lived. In the muster of 1625 we seem to be invited into
each rough cabin, and are introduced to father, mother, and
children, told the age of each and often with a touch of pride
come the words, "Born in Virginia!"
First we note the Laydon family, John and Anne, his wife,
with their three daughters, Virginia, Alice, and Katherine in
1624, while in 1625, baby Margaret had come to increase the
total of the family to six, and the four girls are bracketed
"Born in Virginia," no other family boasting more than two
with this distinction. John Laydon came over in May, 1607, in
the "Susan Constant" and was one of the twelve laborers listed
in this first expedition.
With the second supply in October came over Mistress
Forest, wife of Thomas Forest, Gentleman, and her maid, Anne
Buras, or Burrows, the first women to arrive in the colony.
Among the many who doubtless besieged the heart of the one
maid in the colony, John Laydon was the successful suitor,
* See Appendix JB.
and about Christmas, some two months after her arrival, they
were married at Jamestown, the first marriage of English peo-
ple in Virginia. John was thirty-eight, while Anne was only
fourteen years old. Virginia Laydon who was probably fifteen
years old at the time of the muster in 1625, was the first child
born of English parents, in Virginia. This little family, while
not one of the First Families of Virginia, was without doubt,
the first Virginia family and as such is of intense interest to us.
What became of the Laydon girls? Whom did they marry?
Are any of their descendents in the parish today? I commend
to the Colonial Dames or the Association for the Preservation
of Virginia Antiquities, the erection somewhere in the parish
of a suitable memorial tablet, commemorating the fact that
here lived for a number of years, Virginia Laydon, the first
child of English parents born in Virginia. In 1632 John Lay-
don was granted five hundred acres of land in the parish, pre-
sumably in honor of his daughter, Virginia.
William Capp's name is in the list for 1624, but not in the
muster of 1625. He appears to have had much influence in the
affairs of the colony. He represented the corporation in the
first assembly in 1619. In 1626 he was holder of a dividend of
land. He, with others, in 1622 petitioned King James for re-
lief in the matter of marketing the tobacco of the colony — was
the bearer in 1627 of a message to the colony from King Charles
I. in which the King urged varied planting, saying: "This
plantation is wholly built upon smoke, tobacco being the only
means it hath produced. ' ' Capp 's patent for land covered what
was later known as "Little England" plantation, and is now
occupied by an important part of the city of Hampton.
Listed as a servant in Mr. Edward Waters' muster, he
whose escape from the Nansemond Indians we have noted, is
Adam Thorogood, aged eighteen years. He rose to a position
of influence in the colony. He was a Burgess from Elizabeth
City in the General Assemblies of 1629-1630 and 1632. In the
session of September, 1632, he was made a member of the
monthly court for Elizabeth City and in 1637 was on the coun-
cil of Governor Harvey. His land adjoined the lands of Wil-
liam Capp and William Clairborne. He also held large tracts
of land in Lower Norfolk, formerly lower part of Elizabeth
Another mustered as a servant in the list of Mr. Francis
Chamberlin is a William Worlidge, aged eighteen years. He
also became prominent in the affairs of the county, represent-
ing it in the Assemblies of 1629, 1649, 1654, and 1660, attaining
to the office of Lieutenant, Major and Lieutenant Colonel.
Others listed are Captain Raleigh Crashaw, who in 1626,
was the holder by patent of 500 acres of land between Fox Hill
and Pamunkey River ; came over in 1608 and was a Burgess in
1624. Captain Francis West, a brother of Lord De-la- Ware, came
over in 1608, the owner of one of the four negroes in the cor-
poration ; Governor of Virginia from November, 1627, to March,
1629. Captain William Tucker ; came over in 1610 ; member of
first house of Burgesses in 1619 ; owner of three of the negroes
in the corporation; in 1626 held 150 acres by patent and 650
acres in the south side opposite Elizabeth City. Councellor in
1626 ; member of the monthly county court and military com-
mander of the corporation. In 1623, after the massacre, he was
actively fighting the Indians along the Rappahannock and at-
tacked the Nansemonds and Warrasquekes with vast spoil to
their corn and habitations, and no small slaughter.
The Rev. Jonas Stockton was living in the parish in 1624
and 1625 and is listed in the census for these years. He came
over in January 1621, and preached at Henrico before coming
to Elizabeth City.
In these years there seem to have been two ministers resid-
ing in the parish, the Rev. Jonas Stockton and the Rev. George
Keith. The name Mr. Keith, minister, appearing in the list of
1624, and Mr. George Keith in the muster of 1625 on the list of
Mr. Cisse, minister. Mr. Cisse is not mustered as present. Be-
fore 1624, Mr. Keith was the owner of 100 acres of land in the
parish by patent.
Rev. Mr. Fenton died in the parish in September, 1624.
Nothing is known of his service in the parish or colony.
Another summary for this year, 1625, gives a total of 443
inhabitants, thirty-five of whom were land-holders, nine-nine
dwellings, twenty-one store-houses ,twenty-two hogs, seventy-
four cattle and seventy-nine goats, 3,965 bushels of corn, be-
sides green and dried fish and other provisions. No horses,
only two reported in the colony. No Church reported. Mr.
Alexander Brown says: "lam quite sure, however, that there
were Churches, or chapels, in each of the four great boroughs,
and in the Eastern Shore." This would include Elizabeth City.
In 1630, William Clairborne, at times Surveyor General,
Councillor, and Secretary of State, had a trading station at the
present site of Hampton. He traded with the Indians for furs,
carrying his business far up the Chesapeake Bay. The town of
Hampton was established on his land, then belonging to
Thomas Jarvis, in 1680.
In 1634 there were in the county 859 men, women and chil-
dren. It must be remembered that all the foregoing figures in-
clude the inhabitants on the south side of the river, that is to
say, the region around Sewell's Point and beyond, being called
the lower part of Elizabeth City, and afterwards becoming a
part of Lower Norfolk county. This also applies to the shore
In 1635, Benjamin Symmes gave 200 acres of land "with
milk and increase of eight cows for the maintenance of a learn-
ed and honest man to keep upon the said ground a free school
for the education and instruction of the children of the adjoin-
ing parishes of Elizabeth City and Kiquotan. ' ' This is the first
legacy of an English colonist in America for the cause of edu-
cation, antedating the bequest of John Harvard, of Massachu-
setts, by four years. The bequest of Symmes was fittingly ac-
knowledged by the Assembly of March, 1643, commending his
"godly disposition and good intent — for the encouraging of
all others in like pious performances." His example was fol-
lowed in 1659 by Thomas Eaton, who by his deed of gift es-
tablished a similar school near the Symmes' school. The two
funds were afterwards merged and became a part of the public
school funds of the county. Ten thousand dollars of the fund
are still intact, and the income is used in support of the county
The parish and colony were now fairly planted and on the
road to prosperity, not only having the necessities of life, but
Kecoughtan was rejoicing in an abundance of peaches. How-
ever, the toll of English lives that had been paid is appalling,
101 deaths for Elizabeth City are reported for ten months end-
ing February, 1624,* while for the colony the figures are
equally startling. The shores of the James river from Hen-
rico to Kecoughtan had become almost a continuous graveyard.
Mr. Alexander Brown eloquently says: "Before 1631,
more than three thousand English had died in the colony of
Virginia, among them being many as honorable people as any
in our annals. No stone marks the grave and no epitaph pre-
serves the memory of a single one of them, (male or female)
and some of them are not even fairly treated in our first his-
tory — even the final resting places of Captain Gabriel Archer,
who first proposed to have a parliament in Virginia, and after-
wards protested against the royal form of government for
Virginia; of the members of the first council who gave their
lives in and to Virginia ; of the first Protestant ministers who
gave their lives to the cause of Christ in the colony; of Sir
George Yeardley, who inaugurated the form of popular gov-
ernment in the present United States and of the members of
the first House of Burgesses in America, are not known."
In January, 1637, Governor John Harvey, on the begin-
ning of his second administration, came ashore at Elizabeth
City and read his commission in the Church. This Church, the
foundation of which has been unearthed this year (1910), was
apparently the first Church of the parish. The outside dimen-
sions of the foundation, which are of cobble stones with a few
bricks are: length, fifty-three feet six inches; width, twenty-
three feet. Within the foundations are fragments of the church
floor composed of earthen tiles, eight inches square and one
and one half inches thick. The Church was erected on an arti-
ficial mound on a branch of Hampton river, on the Glebe land
now owned by the estate of the late Col. Thomas Tabb, and
at the foot of the mound can be seen one of the "springs of
sweet water' ' which so delighted the first settlers.
* See Appendix B.
The date of erection of the old Kecoughtan Church is not
known, but although apparently abandoned after 1667, about
which time the Church at Pembroke was erected, the old first
Church seems to have stood until 1698, when one Walter Bai-
ley, was given by levy, four hundred pounds of tobacco for
"pulling down ye old Church and setting up seats in ye court
House." Some claim that the Church then (1698) torn down
was the Church at Pembroke, but this would leave the parish
without a Church until 1728, a period of thirty years.
In 1704, the Rev. George Keith, the one time Quaker, and
his companion, Mr. Talbott, "preached in the Church at Ke-
coughtan," so that at that date the Pembroke Church seems
to have been standing and in use; and while John Fontain, in
1716, writes that he finds no Church in Hampton, he probably
referred to the village proper, the Pembroke Church being in
the country and somewhat distant. Certain it is that in Octo-
ber, 1727, at the time the building of the present church (St.
John's) was undertaken, sundry inhabitants and the majority
of the Vestry represented to the Governor that the parish
Church was in a ruinous condition, and dangerous to use for di-
vine services, and this parish Church was no doubt the Pem-
broke Church. Of course, we are confronted with the possi-
bility that there were other Churches of which we have no
record, but the discovered records, as we have them today, in-
dicate that the old Kecoughtan Church was used, from the
time of its erection until about 1667, when it was abandoned
except for purposes of interring the dead, and was the first
Church in the parish, and stood until 1698 ; that the Church at
Pembroke was used from about 1667 until 1727, when it was
abandoned and was the second Church in the parish; that
about 1728 the present Church, Saint John's, was erected, its
original walls still standing, and is the third Church in the
The site of the Old Kecoughtan Church, with the old
grave-yard surrounding it, containing about one-fourth of an
acre has recently become the property of the parish through
the voluntary deed of gift from Mrs. Virginia Tabb, and her
children. Thus the parish owns the sites of the first and sec-
ond Churches, as well as that of St. John's, the third Church.
In 1644, the Rev. William Wilkinson seems to have been
the minister for the parish, in which year he was granted by
patent one hundred acres of land, "in or near Buckroe." He
probably was minister as early as 1635 when he had a grant of
land on Lynnhaven river.
In some lists of the clergy of Elizabeth City parish, the
name of the Rev. Phillip Mallory appears under date 1664.
Mr. Mallory died in England before July 27th, 1661, when his
will was probated, and I have been able to find no record show-
ing him to have been a resident minister of the parish. He stood
high in his calling and profession — the assembly of 1661 declar-
ing him to be "eminently faithful in the ministry, and very
dilligent in endeavoring the advancement of those means that
might conduce to the advancement of religion of this country/'
Bishop Meade, in Vol. 1, page 230, notes that the Rev.
Justinian Aylmer served the parish from 1645 to 1667 and then
on page 231 limits his service to two years, 1665 to 1667. If we
eliminate the Rev. Phillip Mallory from the list the term first
given to Mr. Aylmer would seem to be correct.
The next minister was the Rev. Jeremiah Taylor, who be-
gan his ministry in 1667, the one "black sheep" in the list of
twenty ministers who resided in the parish in colonial times.
He is said to have been insolent to the civil authorities, and
was charged with drunkenness and slander by the grand jury.
His time of service is not given.
Rev. William Harris was minister in 1675.
Rev. John Page began his term of service in 1677. He left
the colony in 1687 and was then succeeded by the Rev. Cope
Doyley, whose term of service is not known. In 1695 he was
minister in Denbigh Parish, in Warwick county, where he was
shut out from the Church by one of the wardens and the late
clerk without just cause. In 1697 he was elected minister for
Bruton Parish, where he died in 1702. Governor Nicholson
had doubts of Mr. Doyley 's loyalty to the ritual of the Church,
for in 1700 he demands of the Bruton vestry information as to
whether the minister reads the service of the Book of Common
Prayer in the Church; the reply was in the affirmative. Mr.
Doyley was a graduate of Merton and Oriel colleges.
By the act of 1691, Hampton was named as one of the ports
of the colony, and all of the twenty-six half -acre lots into
which the town was originally divided seem to have been sold.
In 1716 it was a place of about one hundred houses, was a place
of the greatest trade in Virginia; had the fitting out of all
fleets, both of men-of-war and ships of commerce ; drove a great
trade with New York and Pennsylvania, and .had then as now,
the best fish and oysters in the colony. Here all vessels bound
to and from Norfolk, had to enter for clearance papers before
The Rev. James Wallace was rector of the parish from
1691 to 1712, when he died, aged forty-five years. His remains
are interred at his farm, Erroll, on Back river, about three
miles north of Hampton. He was from Erroll, in Perthshire,
Scotland, and was a doctor of medicine. His grandson, Captain
James Wallace, was a Burgess from Elizabeth City county in
1769 and 1772; justice of the county court; vestryman and a
member of the committee of safety.
Dr. Wallace at times made things lively with the civil au-
thoities; especially was he a thorn in the side of the county
court. It appears that a number of suits had been instituted
against him for various causes, when, making a trip to England
and returning, he brought an order from the government to
Governor Nicholson, directing that all suits and prosecutions
should cease. In a letter to Governor Nicholson, signed by
nine members of the county court, they charge that this order
from the government had made the doctor insulting, scoffing
and deriding in his manner before the court; that he made it
difficult to secure the services of a grand jury ; that he canvass-
ed for votes for his kinsman in the election for Burgesses, and
that he boasted that he would be parson when they were not
Dr. Wallace was an active business man, and while at-
tempting to collect a debt for a client, he was violently assault-
ed at the courthouse door by the debtor and his son.
On Sunday afternoon, April 28th, 1700, while a party com-
posed of Governor Nicholson, Captain William Passenger, com-
mander of H. M. Ship, Shoreham, and other gentlemen, was
being entertained at the home of Colonel William Wilson, at
Kecoughtan, word was brought to the governor that the pirate
ship La Paix (The Peace), Captain Guillar, with five prizes,
was anchored in Lynnhaven Bay. The governor, acting with
promptness, ordered Captain Passenger, of the Shoreham, to
attack the pirate, but the wind being contrary and darkness
coming on, the Shoreham anchored about three leagues off from
La Paix. About 10 o'clock at night Governor Nicholson, Cap-
tain Alfred, of the Essex Prize, Joseph Mann, Esq., and Peter
Hayman, Esq., went on board the Shoreham. Captain Passen-
ger got under way on Monday morning, and at five o 'clock the
engagement began, lasting ten hours, when the Pirate surren-
dered, under promise of quarter given because of the many
prisoners in her hold. Twenty-five or thirty of the pirates
were killed, and many wounded. No account of the casualties
on the Shoreham is given, save that Peter Hayman "was killed
with a small shot as he stood next the governor upon the
quarter deck." This Ave gather from the stone that marks his
grave in Pembroke Church yard. Three of the pirates were
hanged under sentence of the court at Hampton, notwithstand-
ing the promise of quarter; ninety-nine of them were sent to
England in irons; the making of the shackles giving work to
the Hampton Blacksmiths for some days.
Eighteen years later Captain Henry Maynard sailed into
Hampton river, having as a prize the head of the famous pirate,
Blackbeard, whom he had conquered in Pamlico Sound, N. C.
The head was set on a pole at the point on the west side of the
mouth of Hampton river, which henceforward was called
Blackbeard 's Point.
Rev. Francis Fordyce appears on one list as minister in
1696. He must have been an assistant to Dr. Wallace.
For seven years from 1712 to 1719, the Rev. Andrew
Thompson was rector of the parish. Like Dr. Wallace, he was
a Scotchman. He died in the parish in 1719, aged forty-six,
"leaving the character of a sober and religious man;" and his
body is interred in the Church yard at Pembroke.
Mr. Thompson was succeeded by the Rev. James Falconer.
From him only of the colonial clergy has come down to us any
information as to the condition of the parish. In a report to the
Bishop of London, he says that he has in his charge three hun-
dred and fifty families ; that service is performed every Sunday,
and is attended by most of the parish oners ; that he had about
one hundred communicants; that the owners of slaves were
careful to instruct the young negro children and bring them
to baptism; that the minister's salary was about sixty-five
pounds; that there were two public schools, (evidently the
Symmes and Eaton schools) and one private one in the parish.
The private school was taught by Mr. William Fyfe.
Mr. Falconer's service seems to have been from 1720 to — .
The Rev. Thomas Peader was minister in 1727. At a court
held on the fifteenth day of November in chat year he took the
oaths to the Government and signed the test. It is probable
that Mr. Peader 's rectorship covered the time of the erection
of the present parish Charch of which Henry Cary was the
The walls of Old St. John's made from bricks, moulded
and burned in the church grounds, stand today as they did at
their erection in 1728, save the renewal of the gable of the
west end which was crushed by the falling of the tower in the
fire of 1861 ; the thickening of the east wall by the addition of
one foot of false work to screen the chimney ; and the enlarging
of the north window of the chancel, and the east window of the
north wing of the transept into wider arched openings to re-
ceive the organ.
Originally the ceiling was flat, and at the height of the top
of the walls, as at present shown by the horizontal beams in the
open roof. Three galleries had place in the north,south, and
west wings. From 1843, and possibly earlier, until the destruc-
tion in 1861, the chancel or east wing was cut off by a partition
thus making the audience room in the shape of the letter ' ' T
* See Appendix C
j > .
the space thus cut off being used as vestry and lecture room.
A high pulpit was placed against this partition, in the middle,
and was entered by steps and a door from the vestry room.
Immediately in front of the pulpit was the communion table,
and in front of this the reading desk or lecturn, and in front
of this the communion rail. The choir with organ occupied the
west gallery, and before the purchase of the organ the precen-
tor or leader of the choir used a flute. The aisles were paved
with earthen tiles, eight inches square and one and one-half
inches thick; the spaces occupied by the pews having wooden
floors. The pews were of the old box-style with doors.
From 1731 to the time of his death, the Rev. William Fyfe
was rector of the parish. From his name we infer that he, too,
was a Scotchman. During the rectorship of Mr. Falconer he
taught a private school in the parish, and his rector describes
him as "a man of good life and conversation." He died be-
tween October 5th, 1755, and January 12th, 1756, his rectorship
covering a quarter of a century.
The first entry in the vestry book, which is the oldest record
of the vestry extant, is dated October 17th, 1751. The meeting
was held for the laying of the parish levy. The vestrymen pres-
ent were : Major Merritt Sweeney, Major Robert Armisted, C.
W., Mr. John Allen, Mr. Anthony Tucker, Mr. Baldwin Shep-
hard, Mr. Thomas Latimer, Major John Tabb, Mr. William
Westwood, and Captain Charles King, C. W., with the minister,
the Rev. William Fyfe.
The levy was partly laid in pounds of tobacco, and partly
in pounds sterling, and for the minister's salary is laid 17,280
pounds of tobacco, which, after deducting for cost of cask and
shrinkage in weight, was supposed to net 16,000 pounds. Pro-
vision is made for items for the poor of the parish, the care of
whom was one of the chief duties of the vestry; also for the
care of the Church, such items as posts for the gate, painting
the Church, putting lines and pulleys to the sashes, painting
the west gallery, whitewashing the Church, scouring the floor
of the Church, and mending the communion cloths, showing
that the decent care of God's temple was not neglected. All
records of the parish vestry previous to this date have long
since been lost or destroyed, and seem not to have been in exis-
tence in 1826 when the book, as it now exists, was ordered to be
rebound and new paper added.
No parish registers prior to 1826 are known to be in exis-
tence, and for the period before the Civil War we have only
the one kept by the Rev. Mark. L. Cheevers.
An important duty of the vestry was the appointment of
processioners, whose duty it was to go around the land of each
owner and renew the land marks, and this work was repeated
every four years. In 1751 two hundred and eleven separate
tracts of land are mentioned, in a number of cases two or more
tracts being owned by one person.
At a meeting held January 12th, 1756, the following min-
ute occurs: "The late Rev'd Mr. Fyfe, minister of this parish
being dead, the vestry proceeded to the choice of another min-
ister, and (having first received the governor's and commis-
sary's letters) and thereupon mature deliberations being there
had, proceeded to the choice of a minister for this parish to fill
up the said vacancy, and the Rev'd. Mr. Selden, and the Rev'd.
Mr. Warrington, standing candidates, the question being put,
the vestry are divided in their opinions." This action led to a
sharp tilt between the governor and commissary, on one side,
and the vestry on the other, the former claiming the legal right
of induction, which right many vestries in the colony were dis-
posed to resist. In October the vestry surrendered and unan-
imously elected the Rev. Thomas Warrington, seven only of the
members being present. Mr. Warrington seems to have been
preaching in the parish since the previous Christmas and was
granted his salary for the service.
In the winter of 1755- '56, the beginning of Mr. Warring-
ton's rectorate, there was anchored in Hampton Roads a fleet
of five vessels bearing, as unwilling passengers, 1,140 Acadians,
or neutral French, who had been forcibly taken from their
homes in Nova Scotia with the intention of settling them in the
various English colonies. These were a part of the Acadians
immortalized in Longfellow's Evangeline.
Governor Dinwiddie's Council, after investigations, direct-
ed that one of the vessels be sent to Richmond j that the prison-
ers on board of two be landed at Hampton ; and that the other
two be sent to Norfolk. All were to be provided with houses
and rations. Thus it is probable that Hampton furnished shel-
ter for a considerable number of these exiled people for five or
six months. Great objection was made to the admission of these
Roman Catholics to the Protestant colony of Virginia, and in
April or May, 1756, on the petition of the House of Burgesses,
all were sent to England at the expense of the colony.
In 1759 an agreement was made for building the Church
yard wall. In 1761, the late Mr. Alexander Kennedy having
devised to the parish forty pounds sterling, for the purchase of
a bell, contingent on the erection of a belfry, the vestry under-
took to erect one of brick at the west end of the Church, and
contracted with Charles Cooper for the brick work, and with
Mr. Craighead for the wood work, the work being completed in
July, 1762. The steeple was painted white with lead color for
the roof. After many delays on the part of the executors of
Mr. Kennedy's estate, the bell was at last in place in Septem-
ber, 1765, when the "bellman's" duties began. Edward Butler
was his name, and his salary one thousand pounds of tobacco
per year. In a letter of Mr. Richard B. Servant to Bishop
Meade, written in November, 1856, he calls the bell the "Old
Queen Anne Bell." How did it get that name? Queen Anne
died in 1714, while the bell did not ring until 1765. Wh^le in
use in the camp of the American soldiers on Little England
farm, during the war of 1812, the bell was cracked; for this
injury the United States government reimbursed the parish in
after years. In 1827 and again in 1828, the old bell was order-
ed to be remoulded, and although several attempt? at building
a steeple on the old brick + ower were made, one plan calling
for a steeple like that on Trinity Church, in New York cit> , not
until December 27th, 1843, Saint John's day, was the bell hung
in the belfry. It was struck oy lightning and injured on the
17th of April following. In the fire of 1861 the bell met its
final fate, the metal melting und^r the intense heat. A frag-
ment of the metal which I hold in my hand was preserved by
the late Mrs. Kennon Whiting, and by her given to the late
Miss Laura Sclater, and is now in possession of Mrs. Kate S.
Sclater, a communicant of the Church, and is all that remains
of the old Kennedy bell.
During Mr. Warrington's rectorate care is shown in the
matter of Church ornaments — one order in 1768, directing the
warden to "send home for ornaments for the Church' ' — (Old
England was still "home"). This was followed by a levy of
14,000 pounds of tobacco to pay for same — to consist of a pulpit
and communion cloths and cushions, of crimson velvet, with
silk fringe. They were to be insured at thirty pounds sterling,
giving some idea of their elegance. Col. Wilson Miles Cary
agreed to freight them, free of charge.
Giving a glimpse into the customs of the time, we find or-
ders granting rum and sugar to a pauper "to bury his mother,"
and another for a lottery to build a work house — the latter was
afterwards rescinded. These were among the halcyon days of
the parish. What a concourse was that which gathered on Sun-
day mornings by the roadside in front of this Church. Here
came the Carys from their "Ceely" plantation, the Lowerys
and Mallorys from Back river, the Barrons from "Little Eng-
land," the Seldens from Buckroe, and others of equal ncte in
the community. Four-in-hand coaches, manned with their liv-
eried black drivers and footmen, and escorted by the country
beaux on horseback, rolled up to the Church yard gate, there
depositing their fair burdens. It was a goodly company that
gave ear from their high backed box pews to Mr. Warrington.
Mr. Warrington died October 28th. 1770, after a service of
fourteen years. He came to this parish from York-Hampton
Parish, York county. He fought in the courts for his legal
rights infringed upon by the Two-Penny Act, and was awarded
damages by a jury, although the ccurt decided the act to be
Mr. Warrington was succeeded by the Rev. William Sel-
den, his competitor of 1756, who being without orders made
the trip to London and returned with the proper credentials,
taking charge in May, 1771.- The Rev. William Hubbard had
temporary charge of the parish during Mr. Selden's absence
from the country. When Mr. Selden assumed charge the un-
rest which preceded the Revolution was already disturbing the
colony, and his rectorate was the stepping-stone from the old
to the new.
In April, 1777, the last levy for the salary of the rector was
made, and this was never collected, for after January 1st, 1777,
no taxes for religious purposes were ever paid in Virginia. The
Church, as an establishment, was at an end. The Glebe lands
and all books, plate and ornaments were saved to the Church,
and from the Glebe lands alone the rector could look for re-
muneration for his services.
In May, 1780, the vestry declared the North gallery, for-
merly owned by Col. Alexander McKenzie, to be the property
of the parish, and directed the same to be divided into four
parts and sold for the benefit of the parish ; and in May, 1781,
the committee which had the matter in charge reported the
gallery sold to the following persons, beginning at the west
No. 1, to John Jones £1,000
No. 2, to Francis Mallory, Wurlich Westgood, William
A. Bayley £650
No. 3, to John Hunter, Miles King £750
No. 4, to Samuel Barron Cunningham £1,000
These prices show the depreciation of the Colonial cur-
rency.. The ownership in these galleries, as well as in the pews,
was the same as in real estate. In 1772, Col. Wilson Cary pro-
vided in his will that his pew in the parish Church should be
attached to his plantation called Ceelys, and should pass with
Col. Francis Mallory never occupied his portion of the gal-
lery in person. He was a member of the vestry, but attended
his last meeting May 16, 1780. At this meeting, (May, 1781),
he is reported dead. On the 8th of March, at the head of a
company of militia of the county he met a superior force of the
enemy under Lieut. Col. Dundas, near Big Bethel, and in the
stubborn fight which ensued, Colonel Mallory, after refusing
offers of assistance to escape, made by his fellow vestrj'inan,
Jacob Wray, fell covered With wounds. His mangled body was
returned to his home, and lies interred in the grave-yard of the
farm known as "Clover Dale." His descendants for genera-
tions continued to worship in the old parish Church, and al-
though none of the name are now residents of the parish, yet
one of the fifth generation from the patriot of the Revolution,
was this year brought hundreds of miles from his home in a
distant state, in the arms of his parents, to receive the sacra-
ment of baptism within the walls of the Church of his fathers.
Because of its situation Elizabeth City county suffered
much from repeated raids of the British, and while Col. Fran-
cis Mallory was a prisoner on one of Cornwallis' vessels in
Hampton Roads, his brother, Captain Edward Mallory, a plan-
ter of the county, at the head of about forty mounted volun-
teers, attacked a foraging party of the enemy in Warwick
county about seven miles above Newport News Point. The
British were commanded by a marine officer, Captain Brown,
who after putting up a gallant fight, was severely wounded,
and left on the field, his command escaping to their boats. Cap-
tain Brown was brought to Hampton, and well cared for in the
house of Dr. Brodie, where after suffering for two months, he
died. Prominent in this skirmish was another county-man,
familiarly known as "Young Barron," who behaved with much
gallantry and daring. He was afterward widely known as
Commodore Samuel Barron, United States Navy.
As early as October, 1775, Captain Squires of the sloop of
war, Otter, approached the town, intending to demand some
guns and stores which the people had previously taken from
one of his tenders, which they had burned. One of his boats
approaching too near the shore was fired upon from the win-
dows of the houses and two of the king's sailors killed and two
The Rev. "William Selden ended his service in the parish
early in 1783. At a meeting held in October, 1782, the vestry
recommended the "good people of the parish to pay six shill-
ings per each tythable toward paying the rector for past ser-
vices. " His last meeting with the vestry was in January,
1783. He was the last of the colonial rectors of the parish.
In October, 1783, the vestry agreed with the Rev. William
Nixon to serve one year for the use of the Glebe and the ne-
groes belonging to the land, subject to his producing his cre-
The last meeting of the vestry under civil law, was held
August 11th, 1784. The minutes are incomplete and unsigned.
It is interesting to note the names of those present : John Tabb,
Cary Selden, William Armisted, George Lattimer, William Lat-
timer, Wurlich Westwood and Miles King.
From July, 1786, to September, 1793, the vestry book is
taken up with the minutes of the overseers of the poor, who
took over the civic duties of the vestry, and no meeting of the
vestry is recorded until November, 1806, immediately following
the sale of the Glebe lands by the overseers of the poor, the
deed for which was perfected in October of the same year,
under the so-called confiscation act of December, 1802. By
provisions of this act the Church and its contents and the
Church yards were reserved from sale. During these twenty-
two years the Church in the parish does not seem to have been
dormant, but supplied with rectors. There were, no doubt,
meetings of the vestry, the minutes of which were not recorded
in the minute book, then used by the overseers of the poor.
The parish had a share in the reorganization of the Church
in the State. At the convention of 1785, Wilson Miles Cary
and George Wray, men of weight in the political assemblies of
the time, appeared as lay delegates; in 1786, the Rev. William
Bland, as minister, and Wilson Miles Cary, as lay delegate.
Mr. Bland came from Warwick parish, and his term of service
in this parish is not known. In the convention of 1789, Wilson
Miles Cary, and in 1790, George Wray, were lay delegates for
the parish. In the convention of 1792, Bishop Madison re-
ports a visit to the parish: the first bishop to visit it. He
makes no report of any official acts.
From an inscription on his tombstone in the Church yard
it appears that the Rev. Henry Skyren succeeded Mr. Bland.
Mr. Skyren died in Hampton in 1795. He was born in White
Haven, England, in 1729. He came to Hampton in 1789, from
the Churches in King William and King and Queen counties.
He was reputed to be a scholar and accomplished gentleman,
remarkable for his eloquence and piety, and drew large con-
gregations to hear him. The Rev. John Jones Spooner suc-
ceeded Mr. Skyren. He died in 1799, aged forty-two years,
having come to Hampton in 1796, from Martin's Brandon Par-
ish in Prince George county. He was a native of Massachu-
setts; a graduate of Harvard, and prominent in the organiza-
tion of the militia in that state after the Revolution. He was
captain of the Roxbury Artillery, and during the Shay Rebel-
lion he commanded a battalion of four artillery companies un-
der General Lincoln, who afterwards commended him as an
officer of knowledge, bravery and activity. After meeting bus-
iness reverses he studied for the ministry and removed to Vir-
ginia. Mr. Spooner attended the conventions of 1796 and 1797
as rector of this parish.
From the inscription on his tomb near the south door of
the Church, we learn that the Rev. Benjamin Brown was rec-
tor of the parish, and died January 17, 1806. He was rector
of St. Peter's Church, in New Kent county, 1797 and 1799, and
it is presumed came to Hampton in the latter year after the
death of Mr. Spooner. In Mr. Brown's will, on file in the clerk's
office for this county he states that he "has been engaged six-
teen years in inculcation of the truth of the gospel." He owned
land in New Kent county.
The Rev. Robert Seymour Symms was elected rector at a
meeting held November, 1806, but there is no record of his ac-
After a lapse of four years, another meeting is recorded in
August, 1810, when the Rev. George Holson was elected rector.
He was also principal of the Hampton Academy. There is no
record of his term of service, but he was living in Hampton in
July, 1813, and known as "Parson" Holson. He was rector
of the Lynnhaven parish in the years 1804 and 1805.
Hampton suffered severely in the war of 1812-14. On the
25th day of June, 1813, the British made an attack on the de-
fenders of the town, who, in numbers, about four hundred and
fifty, were encamped on Little England plantation with batter-
ies on the water front, all under command of Maj. Stapleton
The enemy attacked in the front under Admiral Cockburn
and by land forces of about twenty-five hundred in the rear,
under Sir Sidney Beckwith.
Major Crutchfield handled his forces with skill, and a stub-
born resistance was made ; but the odds of numbers being over-
whelmingly against the Americans, they made a retreat, at
times in disorder, across the Pembroke farm, directly over the
old Pembroke Church yard, and on across New Creek Bridge,
leaving the British in full possession of the town, which they
held for two days, and then retired.
During the occupation Admiral Cockburn and Sir Sidney
Beckwith had their headquarters in the Westwood mansion on
South King street, and in the garden of this house was interred
the body of Lieutenant Colonel Williams, a British officer who
fell during the engagement, and as late as 1853 his grave was
shown to visitors.
The rectory of St. John's church now occupies the north-
ern half of the Westwood lot, and the three large locust trees
on the rectory lot and the adjoining lot to the south mark three
of the corners of the Westwood mansion.
The enemy, during the two days' occupation, committed
numerous barbaric atrocities, both on the property and persons
of the inhabitants.*
Years of depression had now fallen on the parish, as well
as on the Diocese. Until 1826 there is no record of a meeting
of the vestry; indeed the parish seems to have had no vestry.
* "The Church was pillaged and the plate belonging to it taken
away, although inscribed with the donor's name" — (Barbarities of the
Einemy.— pp. 115.
From 1798 to 1828, a period of thirty years, the parish was
without representation, either clerical or lay, in the conventions
of the Diocese, although as we have seen, the parish had rectors
until 1813. The attendance at these conventions shows the low
estate of the Church in the Diocese. While in the convention
of 1785 there was thirty-six clergymen and sixty-five lay dele-
gates, in the convention of 1814, only seven clergymen and sev-
enteen lay delegates appear, and in 1826, twenty-two clergy
and sixteen laymen. The General Convention of the Church in
1811, expressed the fear "that the Church in Virginia is from
various causes so depressed that there is danger of her total
ruin. ' '
To the parish could be well applied the words of Bishop
Meade, that "it seemed that the worst hopes of her enemies
and the most painful fears of her friends were about to be real-
ized in her entire destruction." No vestry, no minister, the
Church building closed and falling into decay, used as barracks
for soldiers, and a common shelter for horses, cattle and hogs —
until in 1825 every part, except the walls, required renewal
before it could be used for divine worship.
And now an awakening comes. From the mouth
of a good woman comes the challenge: "If I were a
man!" "If I were a man, I would have these walls
built up." The challenge wakes up the men of the
parish, and in April, 1826, a subscription was started, "the pro-
ceeds to be used exclusively for the repair of the Protestant
Episcopal Church in Hampton, with the laudable design of
restoring it to the order in which our forefathers bequeathed
it to their children." Ninety signatures are attached to this
subscription, ranging in amounts from forty-one cents to one
hundred dollars. Among the larger subscriptions we find the
names of Commodore Louis Warrington, and Commodore James
Barron, while many Norfolk names are on the list.* Commo-
dore Warrington was the grandson of the Rev. Thomas War-
rington, rector of the parish 1756 to 1770. Little England was
the home plantation of the Barrons.
The subscription was followed in August by a meet-
* See Appendix D.
ing in the Court House "of citizens friendly to the
Protestant Episcopal Church, for taking into considera-
tion repairs of the old Episcopal Church," with Dr.
William B. Hope, as chairman, and Richard B. Servant, as sec-
retary. At this meeting a vestry of twelve was elected. At
subsequent meetings of the vestry committees were appointed
to obtain further subscriptions, and to wait on Bishop Moore,
seeking his advice and aid. Bishop Moore promised to visit
the parish and give counsel. In his letter he says: "To see
the temple repaired in which the former inhabitants of Hamp-
ton worshipped God, and to see you placed under the care of
a faithful and judicious clergyman, will fill my mind with
greatest delight. May God Almighty smile on the proposed
design, and carry it into full and complete effect."
At a meeting of the vestry held April 21st, 1827, the Rev,
Mark L. Cheevers was elected rector for one year, and the
Church was named St. John's. In June, Bishop Moore visited
Hampton, confirmed twenty-two and "preached to a large and
respectable congregation." In his report he says: "The Church
in Hampton had been in a state of ruin for many years, but the
inhabitants have now rendered it fit for service, and when the
repairs are completed it will form a place of worship inferior
to very few in the Diocese."
Mrs. Jane Barron Hope's* challenge: "If I were a man,"
had borne fruit, and the old parish was again alive. Frequent
meetings of the vestry were held; the repairs to the Church
were pushed forward, comprising new roof, girders, joists, raf-
ters, wall plates, doors, windows, flooring and plastering — all
new except the brick walls — and were completed thus far in
April, 1828, at an expenditure of about twelve hundred dollars.
A Sunday school with over one hundred scholars of all denom-
inations was opened in the Church. The Rev. Mark L. Cheev-
ers was elected rector from year to year until May, 1843, serv-
ing the parish in connection with his official duties as chaplain
at Fortress Monroe, for a period of sixteen years. In 1825, he
* Daughter of Commodore James Barron, the younger, and moth-
er of Virginia's poet-editor, James Barron Hope.
was in charge of Lynnhaven parish, and in 1826 he was at
work in Suffolk parish. In May, 1826, he was admitted to the
priesthood. He was the first missionery under the Diocesan
Missionary Society, his work being in York, Warwick and
Elizabeth City counties. His services in Hampton were held
on Sunday afternoons, the mornings being taken up with his
duties at the Fort. He walked to and from Hampton, being
noted as a pedestrian, sometimes walking from Fort Monroe
to Eichmond, making Yorktown on the first day in time for
dinner. When he first began his work in Hampton his robing
room was out doors in the northeast angle of the Church. His
voice in preaching was stentorian. In addition to his duties
at Hampton and the Fort, in 1828, he was preaching from
house to house every fortnight on Saturdays in Charles Parish,
York county. He continued to live within the bounds of the
parish as chaplain at Fort Monroe (the last years on 'the retired
list), until the time of his death, September 13, 1875. His re-
mains rest in St. John's Church yard.
At a meeting in April, 1829, thirty-six pews were assigned
to subscribers, having been ordered to be sold at cost of build-
ing.* This action afterwards caused the vestry much trouble,
as many of the pew owners thought it no part of their duty to
contribute to the rector's salary, and resisted any assessment.
Two pews, one in the southeast and one in the northeast corners
were set apart for the use of strangers.
In 1829, the rector reports a total of thirty communicants,
this is presumably for the whole parish, including Fort Monroe,
for in 1833, he reports twelve for Hampton and thirteen for the
Fort, a total of thirty-five, while in 1834 the number in Hamp-
ton was reduced to ten. I
On Friday, January 8, 1830, the Church was consecrated
by the Right Reverened Richard Channing Moore, having been
until this time, with all its predecessors, without consecration, t
From May, 1839, to April, 1842, there are no meetings of
the vestry recorded, two pages having been cut from the min-
* See Appendix E. I See Appendix F. f See Appendix G.
On April 12, 1843, Bishop Johns made his first visitation,
confirming seven; the rector reporting* this year a total of
Rev. John P. Bailsman, of Delaware, was elected rector
July 12, 1843, and the next year he reports thirty-four commu-
nicants ; a flourishing Sunday school ; Church repaired ; new
belfry and lecture room. For the lecture room, which occupied
the east or chancel end of the Church, he gives credit to the
ladies. Prospects encouraging.
In 1845, the ladies held a fair which netted three hundred
and fifty dollars for improving the Church. In November,
1845, Mr. Bausman was succeeded by the Rev. William Goode.
He made his last report in May, 1848, showing forty-two com-
municants, and seems to have served the parish until Novem-
ber, of that year. From 1849, and until October 1850, the par-
ish appears to have been without a minister.
The Rev. John C. McCabe was elected rector, in connec-
tion with his work in Surry, in September, 1850, and was in
charge in January, 1851. In June of this year an organ was
ordered at a cost of two hundred and sixty-three dollars. Com-
municants in 1852, forty-nine. The last record of a vestry
meeting before the Civil War is dated April 25th, 1855, but
Mr. McCabe is present as rector from the parish at the coun-
cil at Fredericksburg in May, 1856, when he reported fifty- five
communicants. Shortly after this date he resigned to take
charge of Ascension Church, Baltimore, and was succeeded at
Hampton by the Rev. Edward Harlow, in November, 185G.
The Rev. John C. McCabe was admitted to Deacon's Or-
ders, in 1848, and to the Priesthood in 1849. In 1863 he was
chaplain of the 32nd Virginia regiment, and also engaged in
work in the hospitals around Richmond. He was the first to
awaken an interest in the history of this parish, through a
series of papers in the Church Review, in which he rescued
from oblivion many important facts, the original records of
which have since been lost or destroyed. Bishop Meade, in his
old Churches and Families, drew largely on Mr. McCabe 's
work. Mr. McCabe fixed definitely the location of the Old
Pembroke Church by unearthing a part of its foundation. He
was an orator of more than usual accomplishments. The degree
of Doctor of Divinity was conferred on him by William and
Mary College. After the war he again engaged in work in
the Diocese of Maryland, also in Pennsylvania. He died in
Chambersburg, Pa., February 26, 1875. His son, Col. W. Gor-
don McCabe, is now an honored citizen of Richmond.
In 1857, Mr. Harlow reports $1,500 contributed for rectory
and improving Church property, including a legacy of $300.
In 1859, or early in 1860, Mr. Harlow was succeeded b;y the
Rev. William F. Jacobs, whose first report in May, 1860, shows
Mr. Jacobs reports to the Council in May, 1861, sixty-two
communicants; rectory erected at a cost of two thousand dol-
lars; "congregation broken up, and some families have gone,
we fear, to return no more." In May, 1862, Mr. Jacobs is re-
ported at work in Bloomfield parish, Rappahannock county,
and in 1865, at Charlestown, Virginia. He died in Alexandria
in the spring of 1867. A short time before his death he for-
warded to Hampton, the proceeds of a collection for the resto-
ration of Old St. Johns.
Again the friends of the Episcopal Church are called to
meet to take steps for the restoration of Old St. John's. For
a third time the tide of war had swept over the old town, this
time leaving nothing but a heap of ashes and tottering walls.
In the conflagration of 1861, the Church was consumed, but the
old walls, honestly built, by colonial workmen, stood firm ; and
again as early as 1866, her friends are at work looking to her
early restoration. The first contribution was received from
the late William S. Howard, clerk of the courts, a Baptist, in
November, 1866, and funds continued to come in until in June,
1871, a total of $3,669.00 had been received. The people of
Hampton, though very poor, did what they could in contribu-
tions ranging from twenty-five cents to twenty-five dollars,
given by Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians and Episcopa-
lians. Friends from all over the country sent aid in sums
ranging from one dollar to one hundred dollars; the former
rectors of the parish, Cheevers, McCabe and Jacobs, sent in
liberal amounts collected by them ; Bishop Potter and the Rev.
Morgan Dix, of New York ; the Rev. Mr. Saul of Philadelphia ;
Bishop Whittle, Dr. Peterkin, Dr. Pendleton, Dr. Minigerode
and Dr. Andrews, of Virginia, sent help. Aid came from
Washington, Fort Monroe, Erie, Pa., Norfolk, Philadelphia,
New York, Portsmouth, Lexington, Richmond, Alexandria,
Maryland, Tarboro, N. C, Lynchburg and Mexico ; and officers
of the army and navy made liberal contributions. Truly the
people had a mind to work.
A number of the members of the Church who had fled
from their homes in 1861, returned, but not all ; some had fallen
on the field of battle ; some had succumbed to privations and
disease, while others had found new homes in this and distant
States. The remnant that had returned set about to find a
place in which to worship, while the work of restoration was in
The first floor of Patrick Henry Hall on Court street, on
the lot now occupied by Tennis' blacksmith shop, was rented
and fitted up as a chapel, with pews, communion rail, and lec-
turn, and here the little band worshipped with the service of
lay-readers until June, 1869, and from that date until April
13th, 1870, under the ministration of the Rev. John McCarty,
D. D., when the congregation entered the old restored Church.
Some of the pews that were used in this chapel are still in use
in the parish house.
In April, 1869, the parish was visited by the Rev.
C. W. Andrews, D. D., of Shepherdstown, and the Rev.
C. Minigerode, D. D., of Richmond, who, together, held a
series of services in the chapel. A visit by Bishop Johns, who
preached in the chapel and confirmed one, is distinctly remem-
bered, although the Bishop does not report it, he does, how-
ever, in 1871, refer to a previous visit, "when the Church was in
ruins." This visit must have been in 1868, or early in 1869.
Actual work in rebuilding was begun in May, 1869, and
pushed until on April 13th, 1870, the Church was occupied,
though still incomplete, being without permanent seats, or
chancel furniture, and the interior unpainted. On this date,
the Bishop-Coadjutor, the Right Rev. F. M. Whittle, visited
the parish, preached in the restored Church, morning and
night, and confirmed ten. The good Bishop was tall of stature ;
the lecturn used for a pulpit was too low for him ; turning his
back to the congregation he marched to the vestry room and
quickly returned, carrying his large traveling valise; this he
placed on the lecturn, and on the valise firmly planted his man-
uscript, and then earnestly delivered one of his characteristic
In his report to the Council Bishop Whittle, speaking of
the restored Church, said : ' ' This grand old building, of which
there was nothing left after the war, save the walls, by the ex-
ertions of the people and the assistance of friends at a distance,
has been so far restored as to be again used for the worship of
God. Permanent seats and chancel furniture are still wanting.
As no people in the Diocese have been more impoverished, and
none have been more willing even beyond their powr, to repair
their own desolations, so none are more deserving of help than
the people of Hampton. ' '
The Rev. John McCarty, D. D., Chaplain U. S. Army, re-
tired, took charge of the parish, June 9, 1869, and remained for
two years. He served without compensation, working with
great zeal in the restoration of the old Church, and the gather-
ing together of the congregation. On taking charge Dr. Mc-
Carty found forty communicants, thirty-six of whom were
members before the war,* and in May, 1871, before his resig-
nation, he reported a total of sixty-one. On leaving the parish
Dr. McCarty removed to the Diocese of Oregon and Washing-
ton, carrying with him the loving regrets of the whole congre-
gation at his departure.
In the summer of 1871, Bishop Johns assigned to the parish
the Rev. John J. Norwood, a deacon from the Seminary, who
remained one year, then removing to the Diocese of North Car-
* See Appendix H.
In June, 1872, twenty-nine pews were assigned to sub-
scribers at cost of building, subject to use for two years, and
then to revert back to the Church.*
In the summer of 1873, the Rev. William Jarrett as-
sumed charge of the parish and remained until the Spring of
1875. He came from the Diocese of Pennsylvania, having been
at one time a teacher in the Divinity School at Philadelphia.
Mr. Jarrett was English born ; went as a Presbyterian Mission-
ary to Australia, where he lived many years. Changing to the
Episcopal faith, and not approving of the union of Church and
State, he came to America and allied himself with the Episcopal
Church. He died in Pennsylvania a few years after leaving
Rev. J. W. Keeble was rector of the parish from April,
1875, to April, 1876.
In September, 1876, the Rev. John J. Gravatt, a deacon
from the Seminary, sent by the Bishop, took charge of the
parish. His rectorship is within the memory of many now liv-
ing, I may add, the loving memory. In June, 1877, Mr. Gra-
vatt was regularly called by the vestry, and continued to serve
as rector until September, 1893, a period of seventeen years,
when he became the rector of Holy Trinity Church, Richmond,
where he is still the incumbent. He found here fifty-nine com-
municants and left a list of two hundred and thirty-two, which
included thirty-five Indians from the Normal and Agricultural
Institute. The work among the Indians began in 1879, when
eleven are reported as communicants, probably the first to wor-
ship in the parish since William Crashaw, the baptized Indian,
who lived with Captain William Tucker, in 1624. The parish
also made important material growth during Mr. Gravatt 's
rectorship; a rectory was built; a new pipe organ installed; a
new vestry room erected ; bell purchased and put in place ; new
open timbered ceiling constructed ; all the art windows now in
the Church erected, except the Colonial Clergy window; walls
decorated; south and west vestibules added, and parish house
* See Appendix I.
erected. Land at Pembroke, containing the site of Old Pem-
broke Church and grave-yard was also purchased.
In November, 1893, the Rev. Corbin Braxton Bryan, be-
came rector of the parish, coming from Danville, Va., and re-
maining until January, 1905, over eleven years. In 1894, Mr.
Bryan reported two hundred and forty-nine communicants, and
in 1904, four hundred and ten, of which forty-four were In-
dians. Material progress was made in payment of a large debt
on the parish house ; building of Emmanuel Church at Phoebus ;
addition to the rectory, doubling its capacity; purchase of a
new organ ; building of a new vestry room, organ loft and choir
rooms ; installation of vested choir, with new chancel furniture
needed for same ; erection of Colonial Clergy window ; and new
slate roof for the Church, donated by the late Mrs. Annie Dar-
ling. Mr. Bryan left the parish to accept the rectorship of
Grace Church, Petersburg, where he is still at work. He comes
to Hampton, like Mr. Gravatt, from time to time as to an old
home, and both always receive a home welcome.
The present rector, the Rev. Reverdy Estill, D. D., came to
the parish from Louisville, Kentucky, in July, 1905. His first
report in 1906, shows four hundred and one communicants, and
in 1909, he reported five hundred and sixty-six. Best of all he
has won for himself a large place in the hearts of his people.
During Dr. Estill's incumbency St. Cyprian's Church, for
colored people, and Grace Church, East Newport News, have
been erected and the parish house doubled in size. The work
among the colored people, which had its culmination in the
building of St. Cyprian's Church, was begun and afterwards
suspended during Mr. Gravatt 's rectorship; revived by Mr.
Bryan and continued by Dr. Estill.
It is a long cry from the Rev. William Mease to Dr. Estill.
Three hundred years have passed since Gates erected his little
stockades at Kecoughtan. In place of the twenty men, with a
few women and children, who comprised Captain George
Webb's command, in 1616, the parish contains today a popula-
tion of about twenty-nine thousand. Its western end, where
Gookins and Nuse stockaded their remote houses against the
attack of the savages, is now covered by a part of the thriving
city of Newport News. On the eastern border the greatest for-
tress of the continent covers the sands of Old Point Comfort,
where the Indian videttes welcomed Newport's shallop, while
in the surrounding waters the war and commercial navies of
the world find an anchorage. A great school welcomes the In-
dian to the fields across which his fathers fled before the impe-
tous rush of the soldiers of Gates. The old Kecoughtan Church
is replaced by six Churches and chapels sheltering congrega-
tions of the same faith: while a total of seventy-six Churches
and chapels in which worship Christian people of all names are
found within the borders of the parish. The mustard seed of
1610 is a great tree in 1910.
The word is said; I thank you for your patient hearing; I
assure you that to me the preparation has been a work of love.
Will you here pardon a reference that may seem too per-
sonal, but while I hesitate, I cannot forbear?
For almost a half century I have known these hallowed
walls. Forty-eight years ago, next month, I limped across the
bridge at the foot of Queen street, an inmate of the federal
hospital on the banks of old Kecoughtan, a wounded boy sol-
dier of McClellan's army, fresh from the fields of the seven
days conflict and the prison hospitals of Richmond. I sought
some comrades of my own regiment whom I heard were in this
locality. Wending my way along Queen street, through the
ruins of the fire of '61, I found the company for which I was
looking bivouacing here in the shade of these old walls, on the
north side, di rectly under that Colonial Clergy Window ; that
was my first sight of Old St. Johns.
The walls stood as they now are, save that the gable of the
west end had been crushed by the falling of the tower, as a re-
sult of the fire.
Three years later, the war ended — I found myself a resi-
dent of the vicinity, and in the spring of 1866, I made my home
For the years 1866 to 1869, the ruins stood uncared for,
and my Sunday morning walks usually led me through these
aisles, and among the surrounding tombs.
It was my privilege to assist in the restoration of '69 to
'70, and ever since this has been my church home, a home dear
from many tender and hallowed associations.
Dear old Parish! Two baby boys repose in your God's
acre, and the mother of those boys, a born daughter of the
Parish, still cheers and comforts me down the western slope
Dear old Parish! Thy people are my people, and thy God
my God, here will I die and here will I be buried.
Dear old Parish! Today around thy Holy Table bow to-
gether the sons and daughters of the first settlers, and the sons
and daughters of the red man, now returned from the far west
to their fathers' fields at Kecoughtan; the sons and daughters
of the soldiers who followed Washington, and the sons and
daughters of the loyalists who clung to their king; and here
bow together the gray heads of those who followed Grant and
those who fought under Lee — all receiving from the old cup
and paten the emblems of the broken body and shed blood of
the Captain of their Salvation, the Prince of Peace.
Dear old Parish! go your way into her gates with
thanksgiving, and into her courts with praise.
Strachey's Account of the Sacking of Kecoughtan
The sixth of July Sir Thoma s Gates Lieutenant Generall, coming
downe to Point Comfort, the North wind (blowing rough) he found had
forced the long Boate belonging to Algernoone Fort, to the other shoare
upon Nansemund side, somewhat short of Weroscoick: which to recover
againe, one of the Lieutenant Generalls menHumfrey Blunt, in an old
Canow made over, but the wind driving him upon the Strand, certaine
Indians (watching the occasion) seised the poore fellow, and led him up
into the Woods, and sacrificed him. It did not a little trouble the
Lieutenant Governor, who since his first landing in the Count rey (how
justly soever provoked) would not by any meanes be brought to a vio-
lent proceeding against them, for all the practises of villiany, with
which they daily endangered our men, thinking it possible, by a more
tractable course, to winne them to a better condition: but now being
startled by this, he well perceived, how little a faire and noble intreatie
workes upon a barbarous disposition, and therefore in some measure
purposed to be revenged.
The ninth of July, he prepared his forces, and early in the morn-
ing set upon a Towne of theirs, some foure miles from Algernoone Fort ,
called Kecoughtan, and had soone taken it, without losse or hurt of any
of his men. The Governour and his women fled (the young King
Powhatans Sonne not being there) but left his poore baggage, and treas-
ure to the spoyle of our Souldiers, which was only a few Baskets of old
Wheate, and some other of Pease and Beanse, a little Tobacco, and some
fine womens Girdles of Silke, of the Grasse-silke, not without art, and
much neatnesse finely wrought, of which I sent divers to England,
(being at the taking of the Towne) and would have sent your Ladi-
ship some if they had beene a present so worthy.
We purposed to set a Frenchman heere a worke to plant vines,
which grow naturally in great plentie. Some few Corne fields it hath,
and the Corne in good forward nesse, and wee despaire not but to bee
able (if our men stand in health) to make it good against the Indians.
From Purchas His Pilgrimes, Vol. IV. p. 1755.
[Reprinted from Colonial Records of Virginia, pp. 49, 50, 51, 52, 53,
54, 58, 59.]
LISTS OF THE LIVING E &
DEAD IN VIRGINIA
Feb. 23, 1623
A LIST OF THE LIVINGE
T\l tye ~3nbiart I3l)ickd:t
Henry Woodall, Richard Rapier,
Gregory Dory, Cutbert Pierson,
John Foster, Adam Rumell,
John Greene, Richard Robinson,
John Ward, James, a French man.
^t TElUabetb (Tit?
Capt. Isacke Whittakers, Thomas Lane,
Mary Whittakers, Bartheimew Hopkins,
Charles Atkinson, John Jefferson,
Charles Caithrop, Robert Thresher,
John Lankfeild, John Rowes,
Bridges Freeman, Mr. Yates,
Nicholas Wesell, Robert Goodman,
Edward Loyd, uxor Ely,
Edward Johnson (fie. ) ,
Capt. Rawleigh Crashaw,
. . ( Bennett,
P ueri \ Bennett!
ZK\ 3&ucke 5\ow
Anthony Bonall, ) French-
La Geurd, \ men,
James Bonall, a Frenchm.,
uxor Haine (or Hame) ,
Mlore at TElUabety (Tit?
Esaw de la Ware,
Capt. William Tucker,
Capt. Nick Martean,
Leftenant Ed. Barkley,
Chouponke, an Indian,
Anthony, ) neffroes
Isabelle, f ne S roes -
Henry May, child,
Elizabeth Booth, child,
Capt. Thomas Davies,
Elizabeth & Ann Ibotson,
Richard Mintren, Junr ,
Richard Mintren, Senr.
Sibile and William Brooks,
Thomas Good by,
Jone God by,
John Grindry, child,
Anna Ganey, filia,
Richard Da vies,
Samuel Douthorn, a boy,
Thomas' an Indian,
Mr. Keith, minister,
Robes t Newman,
A LIST OF THE NAMES OF THE
DEAD IN VIRGINIA
SINCE APRIL LAST
Feb. 16, 1623
mt "llUsabetl) <£U?
Good wife JNonn,
Cisely, a maid,
John, J Irishmen
John Baker, killed,
Anthony Andrew, .
Gilbert , killed
Elizabeth Da vies,
Nicholas , killed,
Sam well Harvie,
Daniel Sand well,
Robert Ball's wife,
Elizabeth, a maid,
Chrisenus, his child,
Orders of Court Providing for the Building of
St. John's Church
At a Court held the 17th day of January 1727.
Preseut, Joshua Curie, Jas. Wallace, Jacob Walker, Wilson Cary,
■sp •«* •s? w
Mr. Jacob Walker and Mr. John JLowry are appointed to Lay off
and Vallue one Acre and half of Ground at the upper end of Queens
Street, joyning upon Mr. Proswell's Lott for the Building the Church
# # # *
It is agreed by the Minister, Church Wardens and Court to furnish
Mr. Henry Cary with wood, at the rate of Six Pence per load, to burn
bricks for the Church, from the School land.
(From Elizabeth City County records.)
List of subscribers to the fund for the restoration of St. John's
Church. April 28, 1826. (From the Vestry Records.)
Wm. Armistead, Ft. Monroe $20.
Como. Lewis Warrington,
Wm. Jennings, Jr.
Luther H. Read,
R. G. Banks,
Thos. Fret well Goodwin,
Wilson W. Jones,
Jno. C. King,
James Baker, Ft. Monroe,
James M. Vaughan,
Jacob K. Wray,
R. B. Servant,
Gill A. Cary,
Samuel Watts, Sr.
Jno. W. Jones,
Jno. F. Wray,
Samuel B. Servant,
Westwood S Armistead,
A. R. Cary,
Trios. S. Armistead,
Alexr. W. Jones,
Saml. M. Latimer,
Thos. W. Lowry,
Ch. C. Cooper,
Jno. C. Whiting,
John C Robertson,
Baley T. Elliott,
Wm. Laughton, Ft. Monroe,
Wm. Ashley, " "
Wm. King, Jr.
Walter F. Jones,
Como. James Barron,
Dr. P. Barrand,
Samuel F. Bright
Rob C. Jennings,
P. E. Tabb,
Thos. B. Seymour,
Edward E. Noel,
Pew holders in St. John's Church. April 1829.
(From the Vestry Records.)
Samuel F. Bright,
Richd. B. Servent,
Jno. P. Laws
Jno. C. King,
Mrs. McLougnlin & Camm,
G. A Cary,
A. W. Jones,
M. Parks, Ft. Monroe,
S. B. Servant,
G. G. Parker,
Jacob K. Wray,
Samuel Watts, Sr.,
Thos. F. Goodwin,
John T. Semple,
Thos. S. Armistead,
W. W. Jones,
J. W. Jones,
G. P. French,
G. T. Massenburg,
W. S. Armistead,
Thos. W. Lowry,
List of Communicants of Elizabeth City Parish, May 1831.
(From Register kept by Rev. M.L. Cheebers.)
Rev. M L. Cheevers
Mrs. M. D. Oheev rs,
W. S. Armistead,
F. S. Armistead,
James Baker, Old Point,
Mrs. C. Baker. « »
Mrs. E. Armistead,
Mrs. M. Prior,
Mrs. A. Cooper,
Mrs. J Herbert,
Miss E. Davis,
Miss M. Wills,
Miss M. Shield, York Co.
Mrs. A. Floyd,
Mrs. Dr. Archer, Old Pt.
Miss M. Green » "
John Shield, York Co.
Mrs. E. Semple,
Mrs. Mary Jones,
Mrs. Ham, Sr.,
ST. JOHN'S CHURCH, 1855
RUINS OF ST. JOHN'S CHURCH, 1861-
Viewed from Northwest
Act of Consecration of St. Sohn's Church.
(From Vestry Records.)
Know all men by these presents, that We Richard Channing Moore,
D. D. by divine permission Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church
in the Diocese of Virginia, did consecrate to the service of Almighty
God, on Friday, January the 8th, in the year of Our Lord 1830, St. John's
Church in the Town of Hampton, Elizabeth City County in which
Church the services of the Protestant Episcopal Church are to be per-
formed, agreeably to the rubrics in such case made and provided. It
is always to be remembered that St. John's Church thus consecrated
and set apart to the worship of Almighty God, is by the act of conse-
cration thus performed separated from all worldly and unhallowed
uses; and to be considered sacred to the service of the holy and undi-
In testimony wtierof, I have oa che day and year above wriiteu
subscribed my hand and affixed my seal.
Richard Channing Moore, j L. s. |
List of Communicants in June 1869.
(From Parish Register.)
George Wm. Semple. M. D. Mrs. Jefferson Sinclair,
James Turner, Mrs. William S. Jones,
Mrs. Kennon Whiting, Mrs. Jesse S. Jones,
Miss Louiza F. Whiting, Miss Virginia Lowry,
Mrs Ann Sclater, Mrs Wray
Miss Laura S. Sclater, Mrs. William Lowry,
Miss Kate S. Sclater, Mrs. Richard M. Booker,
Mrs. Diana Jordan,! Mrs. Mollie von Schilling,
Mrs. Mary Smith, Miss E. Booker,
Miss Eliza Green, Mrs. Elizabeth Watts,
Mrs. Euphan Bainbridge, Mrs. William Ham,
Miss Euphan Bainbridge, Samuel W. Latimer,
Miss Virginia Booker, Mrs. Fanny Barry,
Miss M. C. Semple, Mrs. Diana Howard,
Miss Emily B. Semple, Mrs. Holt,
Miss J. McKenzie Semple, Mrs. Benjamin Huestis,
Mrs. Wm. Causey, Miss Sinclair,
Edward E. Savage, Mrs. Julia A. Smither,
Mrs. Edward E. Savage,
List of Pew-holders, June 1872.
(From the Vestry Records.)
Mrs. Caleb C. Willard,
Wm. S. Jones,
H. Clay Whiting,
Miss Nanny Semple,
Mrs. Euphan Bainbridge.
Mrs. S. Sclater,
Mallory A. Snield, M. D
Samuel W. Phillips,
Mrs. Jerome Titlow,
H. Clay Marrow,
D. B. White,
Gen. Wm. F. Barry, U. 8. A.
John W. & Geo. A. Blackmore,
Geo. Wm. Semple, M. D.
Columbus C. Jett,
Jesse P. Hope, M. D.
Lemuel H. Sclater,
Mrs. J S. Darling,
W. J. Bobbins,
Jones & Camm,
List of Vestrymen of Elizabeth City Parish, from 1751 to 1910.
(From Parish Records.)
Maj. Merrit Sweeney,
Col. Robert Armistead
Maj. George Wray,;
Col. Wilson Miles Cary
Col. John Tabb,
Capt. Charles King,
Capt. Westwood Armi-
Col. Francis Mallory,
Maj. William Wager,
Capt. John Tabb, Jr.
Capt. James Wallace,
Thomas Jones, Jr.
Thomas B. Armistead,
James Latimer, Jr.
Capt. Robert Lively,
Smauel Watts, Sr.
Thomas Latimer, Sr.
William Hope, M. D.
John W. Jones,
Col. Gill A. Cary,
Capt. Thomas Hope,
Capt. John Herbert,
Richard G.Banks, M.D.
Capt. John F. Wray,
Richard B Servant,
Westwood S. Armistead
Thomas S. Armistead,
John C. King,
Thomas F. Goodwin,
Samuel M. Latimer,
S. R. Sheild, M. D.
A. B. McClean,
Thomas W. Lowry, 1844-1855
George William Semple,
M. D. 1846-1883
Robert Archer, M. D. 1846-1847
William R. Laws, 1855-1864
William S. Sclater, 1852-1855
E. E. Savage, 1853-1874
Charles Shelton, 1853-1855
George Wray, 1854-1855
Jesse P. Hope, M. D.
William Y. Titcomb, 1852
William Causey, 1854-1855
Samuel R. Chisman, 1868
Lemuel H. Sclater, 1868-1899
Col. Charles K. Mallory, 1868-1874
J. B. Hope, 1868
James E. Turner, 1868-i870
Mallory A. Shield, M. D. 1869-1874
Columbus C. Jett,
Isaac L. Jones, Jr.
William S. Jones,
S. W. Phillips,
William S. Sclater,
H. Clay Marrow,
James Sclater, Jr.
J. M. Sherman,
John M. Wiliis,
Marshal A. Booker,
William H. Boyenton,
F. W. Shield,
Hugh F. Wallis, M. D.
George G. French,
Frank Lee, 1886-1887
Benjamin F. Hudgins,
Edgar E. Montague,
John W. Blackmore,
Frank W. Darling,
C. A. Junken,
W. C. L. Taliaferro,
Nelson S. Groome,
Joseph C. Outten,
Charles H. Hewins,
Howard W. Saunders,
H. H. Kimberly,
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